As Major League Baseball kicks off All Star Week, where the greatest players of our American pastime come together for a game, as a Cincinnati Reds fan, I can’t help but reflect on how powerful change can be in finding greatness.
This time last year, Cincinnati changed. It was the home of the All Star game. The city cleaned up, put up more flying pigs and mustaches, and got ready to get national attention. This spotlight caused great change for my city. The fountain water turned “Redleg” red and the streets were packed with fans.
This time last year the Cincinnati Reds also decided on change, and traded our Mike Leake for San Francisco Giant, Keury Mella. Minor leaguer Adam Duvall also came with him.
Adam Duvall was a 26-year-old playing third base in the minor leagues for the San Francisco organization. He wasn’t the trade, he just came with it. And with Duvall’s new team and new position of left fielder, we found greatness.
Adam Duvall will represent Cincinnati this week, as he plays in the All Star Games.
Getting traded to a new team, changing positions and having national attention on your city is like starting a new school year. You get new school shoes and a new class list. This year, maybe you are getting to teach in a new building, or teach a new course. Maybe you are moving into a new role this year? Or maybe your change is not clear yet. Maybe your change is not so much about you changing at all, but how your reflections and actions can initiate someone else’s change.
Here are some questions to reflect on as you work to make a change toward greatness for yourself, your teachers and your students:
What change do you need to be great? Do you need a mentor or someone that will push you to take risks or disrupt a system that may not be contributing to your greatness or that of your students?
Who needs your support to find their greatness or bring it back? Who do you work with that you can inspire by collaborating with them or giving them a push?
What student or students will you work with this year that need a change in their environment? How will you change the teaching and/or learning strategies, materials and pacing to find help students find greatness again in school, or maybe for their first time?
How will you create change for your students in the feedback they get? How can your feedback motivate students to improve and strive for greatness?
How will you create change for your students when they fail, make the wrong choice or become apathetic?
As we “slide” into this week, and see talent displayed that may only have come from change, challenge yourself as an educator to reflect and plan for a school year where your focus is not just on the daily systems of running a classroom, department or organization, but on changing it to recognize each individual’s greatness.
By Jackie Cruse, Assistant Principal at Lakota West High School in West Chester Township, OH
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Category: Change, Leadership